The concept behind Query & Analysis is really about empowering the Business User and Analyst to interact with data on the fly in a Self-service BI environment. There a few tools available from SAP BusinessObjects that fulfil this criteria. First of all, here’s a little background, so as to avoid any confusion around what the products are.
Historically, the original Query & Analysis and Reporting tool was simply called ‘BusinessObjects’. Back then if you were to ask someone what reporting tool they were working with they would just say ‘BusinessObjects’. That was the only tool, until sometime later the first version of Web Intelligence was released. After BusinessObjects acquired Crystal Decisions the ‘BusinessObjects’ reporting tool was renamed Desktop Intelligence, sometimes also known as Deski. Running alongside Desktop Intelligence the thin client tool Web Intelligence was being developed.
Over the years Web Intelligence has grown to become SAP BusinessObjects’ flagship tool that allowing non-technical users to create new queries, slice and dice, and then drill down through their data all via a web browser. The advancement in Web Intelligence means that Desktop Intelligence is now coming to its end of life.
A second tool available is Voyager. Voyager is an Online Analytical Processing Tool (OLAP). In the BI 4.0 release Voyager is superseded by SAP BusinessObjects Analysis edition for OLAP and SAP BusinessObjects Analysis edition for Microsoft Office. It should be used when analysis is required against large data sets.
We also find it useful to think of a third tool under the Query & Analysis category. That is the search tool named Explorer. The original name for Explorer was Polestar.
Biography – Russell Beech, Founder of BISB & Cornerstone Solution®
Russell is a Business Intelligence Leader who has specialised in providing Analytics, Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence Solutions for almost two decades. He is the founder of BISB (BI System Builders Ltd) and the innovator of BISB’s Strategic Business Intelligence Framework known as Cornerstone Solution®. Russell developed Cornerstone Solution® as a strategic framework to successfully deliver Business Intelligence services within End to End BI solutions.
Russell holds a BSc in philosophy and Science, a MSc in Tourism Management, and a Postgraduate Diploma from the Chartered Institute of Marketing. After studying, Russell started work in Strategic Marketing becoming a fully elected member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing in 1997. His involvement in analysis and planning activities extended into databases. This encompassed Ralph Kimball’s Redbrick Platform, Data Warehousing, Business Intelligence, and several analysis tools including BusinessObjects. Post the Millennium, he joined the Product Group at BusinessObjects UK. After several years at BusinessObjects Russell worked for two prominent BusinessObjects partners. Firstly, Northgate Information Solutions as their SAP BusinessObjects Solution Architect, followed by HCL Axon as their SAP BusinessObjects Subject Matter Expert. He founded BISB in 2009. He has extensive technical, functional and business knowledge around Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence Solutions.
Query as a Web Service is a wizard-based application that enables users to create custom web services for specific queries against a SAP Business Objects universe. Once they have been created the queries can be integrated with other applications or tools. The integration ensures that the SAP Business Objects universe becomes the central hub for delivering secure, trusted information wherever it is needed. For example, a Web Service Query on a SAP Business Objects universe can be used to feed data in to a Xcelsius dashboard. The wizard is a client based component that is simple to use enabling both application developers and business users to quickly create their own queries. After creating the query a URL is generated for the Web Service. The URL can then be added to other applications. The generated Web Service can be consumed by any web service-enabled application.